Many plots exist around the world to overthrow The United States of America.

Some ferment in the caves of Afghanistan, others in terrorist hideouts throughout the Middle East and still more in the governments of North Korea, Iran and God-knows-where-else.

Yet the most dangerous threat to this country, to our very way of life, festers here at home, in the halls of Congress and the West Wing of the White House. It spills out daily in the rabid rhetoric of the extreme right wing – the conservative cabal whose goal is no less than total seizure of our government and complete domination of the lives of all Americans.

One only has to look at the bitter debate over President Bush’s nomination of White House Counsel Harriett Miers to see the conservative plan in action. The rabid right-wing demands proof that that Miers will vote to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark case affirming a woman’s right to choose. Nothing less will do.

This is the extremist conservative mantra – absolute adherence to a narrow-focus agenda. Republicans demand that all members of their party march in lockstep. Anyone who departs even one little bit is labeled a “RINO,” (Republican in Name Only) and ostracized from the party.

Conservatives consider the Constitution an “outdated document,” a phrase used by current attorney general Alberto Gonzales in a memo justifying torture of prisoners and abuses of civil liberties under the USA Patriot Act, a rights-robbing law created by his predecessor, John Ashcroft, a Bible-thumping ex-Senator who lost re-election to a dead man and who, as both attorney general and governor of Missouri, was slapped down more than once by the State Supreme Court for refusing to enforce laws of that state, laws he said “violated the will of God.”

Underneath the bluster and propaganda, conservatives embrace an intolerant view of the world. Homophobia and racism runs rampant through the ranks of the right-wing. They preach homosexuality is a “crime against God.” They pay lip service to equality but stick to the racism that has dominated their beliefs since the days of slavery.

Right-wingers consider God one of their own. They invoke the deity’s name often, usually by misquoting the Bible or misconstruing a religious intent in a lame attempt to justify their actions. Bush even claims God told him to invade Iraq and says God has spoken to him – a vision that may be more the result of an alcohol-induced haze than any actual divine intervention.

They want religious dogma replacing scientific fact in school curriculums, demand that all Americans – even those who chose to exercise their freedom of religion by embracing other beliefs – to adhere to their fundamentalist view of the world and seek punishment of those who do not.

Conservatives want a public radio and TV network that reports slanted news from a right-wing point of view. Control of the media is always a first step in overthrowing a current system of government.

They want to give the FBI expanded powers to wiretap Americans without court order or oversight and they want to give the CIA the right to spy on Americans within the boundaries of the United States. By most reports, the CIA is already doing this but the right wing wants to make it the law of the land.

Again, such steps come straight from the government-overthrow handbook: Create a police state, keep tabs on a nation’s citizens. Karl Marx talked of such tactics in A Communist Manifesto. Adolph Hitler did the same in Mein Kampf.

Overt overthrow is not yet part of the Conservative Manifesto. Like Marx and Hitler, those who control the extreme right-wing elements of the Republican Party know that governments are best destroyed from within, by infiltration of the party politic, by using propaganda and fear to control the hearts and minds of the people

Is it happening? Damn right it is. Take a hard look at life around you today. Do you enjoy the same freedoms you once enjoyed as an American? Are you safer? Is America safer?

Once you answer those questions, ask and answer another: Who took these things away from you? Osama bin Laden? Or the right-wing controlled government of the United States of America?